• Pregnant Black woman lying on a green grassy field

Count the Kicks Campaign Launches in Alabama

  • Kimberly Isburg
  • 05.04.21

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is partnering with Count the Kicks, an evidence-based stillbirth prevention public health campaign. The partnership will help to educate and empower expectant parents in Alabama about the importance of tracking fetal movement in the third trimester of pregnancy. One out of every 113 pregnancies in Alabama end in stillbirth, according to Alabama Vital Statistics.* 

Count the Kicks teaches the method for, and importance of, tracking fetal movement during the third trimester of pregnancy. Research shows the benefits of expectant moms tracking their baby’s movements daily and learning how long it normally takes their baby to get to 10 movements. After a few days, moms will begin to see a pattern, a normal amount of time it takes their baby to get to 10 movements. If their baby’s “normal” changes during the third trimester, this could be a sign of potential problems and is an indication that the expectant mom should call her healthcare provider. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, expectant moms have reported changes to their regularly scheduled prenatal visits and an increase in telehealth visits. Now is an especially important time for expectant women to track their baby’s movements every day in the third trimester. By doing so, expectant moms will have the peace of mind to know when things are OK and when things have changed. 

Thanks to the partnership with ADPH, maternal health providers, birthing hospitals, social services agencies, childbirth educators and other providers in Alabama can order FREE Count the Kicks educational materials to help them have the kick counting conversation with expectant parents. 

Count the Kicks also has a free app available in the iOS and Google Play app stores that provides expectant moms a simple, non-invasive way to monitor their baby’s well-being every day. The Count the Kicks app is available in 12 languages, including English and Spanish, and its features include a kick-counting history, daily reminders and the ability to count for single babies and twins. Nearly 3,000 expectant women have downloaded the app in Alabama already.

“After the birth of my son in April 2020, the nurse explained how my story could have turned out differently if I waited to come in,” said Shelley Patterson, a mom in Auburn. “I am thankful to God that I had heard about the Count the Kicks campaign and app from my friend.”

According to ADPH, Alabama loses approximately 527 babies to stillbirth each year. In Iowa, where Count the Kicks began, the state’s stillbirth rate dropped by nearly 32 percent in the first 10 years of the campaign (2008-2018). Iowa’s rate went from 33rd worst in the country to one of the lowest, while the country’s rate remained relatively stagnant. ADPH is hoping to bring the same success that Iowa has seen to Alabama, which would save approximately 169 babies in the state each year.**

*Number based off the 5-year average stillbirth numbers, total stillbirth data from Alabama Vital Statistics. Fetal Deaths does not include abortions. 

**Number based on 5-year average stillbirth rate, multiplied by the 32% reduction seen in Iowa. Stillbirth data is from Alabama Vital Statistics. Note stillbirth rate is calculated by: Fetal Deaths/Total of Live Births  + Fetal Deaths*1,000.


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